06 April 2005 19:29 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (CNI)--The House Energy and Commerce Committee began work Wednesday on broad legislation intended to encourage greater domestic production of natural gas and oil and reduce ?xml:namespace>
Chairman Joe Barton (Republican-Texas) said his committee would spend several days considering amendments to a draft energy bill that is similar to comprehensive legislation that twice passed the House of Representatives a year ago, but stalled in the Senate.
One of the new provisions in the bill would clarify that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has the legal authority to override state and local opposition to new import terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The legislation would require FERC to consult with state and local agencies on safety matters, but would give federal regulators the final authority to approve LNG permits.
LNG's share of the
Representative John Dingell of
Barton said it is essential that Congress address declining
The legislation once again includes a controversial measure that would protect manufacturers of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) from defective product lawsuits. The provision would also give refiners until the end of 2014 to phase out MTBE and switch to other octane boosting gasoline additives.
Democrats said they would offer amendments to strip the MTBE language from the bill.
Although the House Resources Committee has jurisdiction over separate legislation to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in
The Senate voted 51-49 last month to lease ANWR for drilling after many years of opposition.
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